Globalization and the Developing World

Globalization is the extension of age-old markets beyond ones national boundaries. It  sometimes  results  in  the  geographical  mobility  of  labour  and  technology  across  international  borders. Most  often  an  individual's  life  can  be  transformed  by  global  forces  and  one's  connections  can  be  expanded  around  the  world, their  lives  get  effected  not merely  by  their  local  communities  but  by  economic, political, and  cultural  forces  that  function  globally. In short, globalization is the spread and connectedness of production, communication and technologies across the world.The producers, markets and manufactures are exposed worldwide through globalization. Multinational  corporations  backed  by  their  national  governments, and  international  financial  organizations  like  the World  Bank, the  International  Monetary  Fund(IMF), the  International  Finance  Corporation(IFC), the World Trade Organization(WTO), are  the  key  agents  of  global  economy. Currently  the  global  economy  is  under  the  mighty  influence  of  the  industrialized  countries  where  the  multinational  corporations  and  the  international  financial  organizations  are  headquartered. This sometimes leads to negative consequences for less influencial nations. With  the  increase in globalization , all  big  and  small nations are  affected  both ways-positively  and  negatively. By  looking at  the present  scenario,  it  can  be  said  that all national  economies  will be  ultimately  integrated  into  the  global  economy  in  different  ways  and  to  varying  degrees. A  further, imperative  facet  of  globalization  is  the  nature  and  authority  of  multinational  corporations. Such  companies   now  account  for over  33 per  cent  of  world  output, and  66  per  cent  of  world  trade  (Gray 1999: 62). Almost 25 per cent of the entire world trade takes place within the multinational corporations (op. cit). This  last  point  is  well  illustrated  by  the  operations  of  car manufacturers  who  typically  source  their  workings  from  plants  positioned  in  countries  which  are  poles  apart.  For  participating  countries  the  main  benefits  of  unobstructed  foreign  trade  stem from the greater  than  before  access  of  their  products  to  larger international  markets. For  a  national  economy  that  access  means  an  opportunity  to  benefit  from  the international  division  of  labor, and  face  stronger  competition  in  world  markets. Domestic  producers  manufacture  a  superior  quality  product  more  efficiently  due  to  the  pressure  that  comes  from  foreign  competition. In  addition,  the  developing  countries  gain  copious  benefits  from  the  unique  technologies  that  "spill over" to  them  from  the  respective  trading  partners.                             

Multinational companies  can  impact  upon  communities  in  very  diverse  places.First  they  prefer  to  setup operations  (production, promotion  and  sales)  in  countries  and  regions  where  they  can  reap  the  benefits  of  cheap  labour  and resources, this  structure  of globalization  results  in  significant  inequalities. The  wages  paid  can  be  nominal  with  almost  no  labour  rights  and  very poor  working  conditions. For  example, a  1998  survey  of  special  economic  zones  in  China  showed  that  manufacturers  for  companies  like  Ralph  Lauren, Adidas  and  Nike  were  paying  a meager  13  cents  per  hour  (a  'living  wage'  in  that  area  is  around  87  cents  per   hour). In  the  United  States  workers  doing  similar  jobs  might  anticipate  US $ 10  per hour (Klein  2001: 212). Second, multinationals  are  always  on  a  lookout  for  new  or  under-exploited  markets. Their  aim  is  to  increase  sales  level, which  is  often  accomplished  by  creating  new  needs  among  different  target  groups. One  example  is  the  activities  of  tobacco  companies  in  the  southern   part  of  the  planet.

Multinational  companies  can  also  have  significant  influence  with  regard  to  policy  formation  in  many  national  governments  and  in  transnational  bodies  such  as  the  European  Union  and  the  World  Bank  (key  actors  within  the  globalization  process). They  have  also  profited  from  privatization  and  the  opening  up  of  services.Despite its pitfalls and failures, there is a universal desire among the nations of the world to participate in, contribute to, and be enriched by the global techno-economic system and the emerging global cultures. They are participating in the globalization process not necessarily because they love it but because it is here to stay despite the motley resistance by those who consider it truly evil.

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